Do you have a Pet Fire Safety Plan? by Bonnie Kemp, Client Services/Veterinary Assistant

Most homes, schools, and businesses have a fire plan to ensure the safety of those inside. These usually outline the most appropriate way to leave the building, a meeting place outside, a time frame for changing your alarm batteries, and other safety tips and rules. When there is a plan in place, we hope that things will run smoothly should a real fire ever start.

Are your pets included in your plan?

If you don’t have an emergency plan for pets, you’re definitely not alone, and it’s not too late! There are many steps you can take to not only keep your home free of hazards that can lead to pet induced fires, but can also keep your pets protected if there is a fire in your home or workplace.

Tips for a Safer Pet Environment:

  1. Ensure your pet is not left alone near an open flame, such as candles or a fireplace. Although fire doesn’t seem appealing, most pets let their curiosity get the better of them. This can lead to damage to your home, yourself, and your pet. Instead, consider flameless candles and fireplace guards, and ensure you fully extinguish flames before leaving your pets unsupervised.
  2. In your family or work fire safety plan, assign someone to be the designated “Pet Protector”. This person will be in charge of locating the pets and evacuating with them.

Note: This should only be done if time allows, and does not put anyone’s life in danger. If evacuation with pets is not possible, please leave this up to firefighters!

  1. Consider creating a pet safety kit and keep it near your front door, or most accessible exit. This can include items such as important medications, some food and treats, an extra leash or cat bag, and a picture of your pets that may help a firefighter to locate them if you are not able to evacuate with them.
  2. When you’re not at home, consider keeping dog crates and beds near the front door, and train your dogs to stay on their beds. For cats and dogs, try and close doors, such as to bedrooms and the basement, so that they stay in the main area of the house. This will make locating your pets much easier for firefighters.
  3. Leave an ‘In Case of Fire, Please Rescue my Pets’ sticker on your front door so firefighters know how many pets there are inside the house. It is important to keep these up to date, including writing the year on it so that firefighters know it is not an old sticker. Also, try to cover or remove them if you go away with your pets, so that firefighters are not wasting their time looking.

If you ever would like a team member from North Hill Animal Hospital in Bolton to evaluate your family’s fire safety plan, or help you make one please let us know at your next appointment.